Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blogger Pat Andrews Exposes Agreemnent to Send Property Taxes to the Capital Improvement Board

Pat Andrews, my favorite local Democrat blogger (my apologies to Jon Easter and Chris Worden), uncovered an agreement (dare I say "scheme") by the City through the Metropolitan Development Commission to sent property taxes revenue to the Capital Improvement Board. She has given me permission to post her column in full:
I just got a copy of the MDC / CIB Interlocal Cooperation Agreement that commits $8 million a year from the Consolidated Downtown TIF to the uses of the CIB. While the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is mentioned liberally, it is clearly a straw dog created to validate the $8 million price tag. It was approved by the Metropolitan Development Commission at their September 1, 2010, meeting.

I uploaded the agreement, if you care to review it. The terms of the agreement begin on page 7. Briefly, the agreement is for $8 million annually to be provided to the CIB, and requires 6 months notice
or the agreement will automatically renew year to year.

While the stated purpose of the agreement is "to protect, further, increase and enhance the benefits that result from the operation of the Facilities and the activities of the ICVA", the agreement specifically states that the ICVA is not a third party beneficiary of the agreement.

With this agreement, property tax dollars are now flowing to the CIB. These are new dollars. They amount to $8 million per year on an ongoing basis. The only new expenses of the CIB are the operation of the expanded convention center and the $10 million cash gift to the Pacers. It is completely reasonable to connect these dots and see property tax dollars flowing from the City of Indianapolis to the Pacers.

These property tax dollars could be used to pay off the bond obligations of the TIF district early, or to promote $8 million in new projects. Such a project could even include upgrading parking meters in the downtown area.

But, no. The Pacers are given higher priority by Mayor Ballard, than being fiscally responsible in paying off debt, or fiscally responsible in crafting an upgrade to the parking meter project, or underwriting some other deserving project in the downtown area that would actually make Indianapolis a better place to live. The Council should reject the $10 million gift in the 2011 CIB budget and let the CIB and MDC unwind this agreement.


Downtown Indy said...

On the noon news today, we learned the city took $8 million from solid waste and applied it to street repairs. Well, actually it ws to alley paving. Now I know how all that got done (I'd seen them doing about every alley in Fountain Square all summer long).

I wonder how they can do that when the money was tagged for a specific purpose?

Clearly there was some 'fluff' in Ballard's budget that he missed, at least I hope so. I hope solid waste isn't now short on funding.

For a city that's supposedly tight on money, they are sure finding a lot to shuffle around at their whim.

Paul K. Ogden said...

DI, what station was that on?

Downtown Indy said...


Melyssa said...

Is it really asking too much to live in an honest city?

Downtown Indy said...

I know you said you doubt the mayor et al are probably not clever enough to shuffle money around while waiting for either of the two proposed windfall (water co and parking) checks to arrive, but I think that's what they are doing.

I am convinced they are betting on one or both as a 'bailout' for all the millions being tossed around for these pre-election demonstrations of 'look what we've done' being done this summer.

Daniel Bryan said...

I remember writing about that expose two years ago. The financial sheets were released months after that.
form 2290